Quebec terror trial hears arguments over admissibility of confession

Quebec terror trial hears arguments over admissibility of confession

MONTREAL — The case of a Quebec man charged with attempting to leave the country to participate in the activities of a terrorist group is hearing arguments about the admissibility of his statements to police.

Ismael Habib is on trial on the terror-related charge for wanting to allegedly fight for the Islamic State in Syria and on a second count for giving false information in order to obtain a passport.

Defence lawyer Charles Montpetit is arguing his client’s statements made to undercover police officers should be deemed inadmissible as they were obtained through a Mr. Big-type operation.

Typically, such cases involve officers posing as criminals to obtain confessions for a serious crime such as murder.

The trial has heard the RCMP scenario for Habib involved reeling him into a fictitious crime organization specializing in counterfeit passports and human smuggling.

Montpetit argues Habib told police what they wanted to hear as he was desperate to get a travel document to go see his family overseas, while the Crown says the case does not fall into the Mr. Big category because police were simply trying to pin down Habib’s true intentions.

Canada’s highest court ruled in 2014 that Mr. Big-type operations tend to produce unreliable evidence because of threats and are acceptable only under strict guidelines.

The trial itself is expected to resume in March.

The Canadian Press

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